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Any good cafés?

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Thursday 18 December 2003 10.07am
I'm trying to find a really good café where I can get a decent plated meal at lunchtime for just a few quid, and where I won't have to fight for a seat.

I used to work for a company that had a subsidised canteen (about 1 for a good plated meal), but now I'm in SE1 I tend to find that the easiest option - a sandwich/crisps/choccy bar - costs 3-4. My local café (Franks on Southwark Road) is decent enough food-wise, but getting a seat can be a nightmare.

The Tas café (in Borough High Street) seems like a nice place, but is a fair old walk - can anyone recommed something similar i.e. somewhere that isn't just a fry-up merchants???
Thursday 18 December 2003 10.21am
You absolutley have to try El Vergel on Lant Street. It's Peruvian I think, but anyway does great food really cheap and all the staff are lovely. For a good (and usually healthy) sit down lunch (as well as sandwiches) this place is my favourite for quite some distance. Can't be reccomended highly enough in my opinion.

Thursday 18 December 2003 11.17am
El Vergel is great, but you need to go quite early to get a table, as they only have a few and the place is roadblocked.

Riva, just by Borough tube, is OK if you are looking for one up from a greasy spoon. They do quite good toasted foccaccia and coffee, and a decent haddock and chips, and the seated area at the back usually has a few spare seats.
Thursday 18 December 2003 11.30am

My vote is for La Palma on Union St eggs, chips and pasta (hungry now).
Thursday 18 December 2003 9.11pm
I like the Island Cafe at Flat Iron Square, junction of Union St and Southwark Bridge Rd. They have good food & quite a few tables, some outside in warmer weather. (By the way, for info, this used to be a loo, many years ago. When it was first taken over, not by the present proprietors, they wanted to call it Flushings. I said I didn't think this was a very good idea, so they thought they would call it The Cottage. H'm.)
Also Omar's cafe in Redcross Way, Marshalsea Rd end - recently expanded into larger premises - popular & good, but you can still always get a table.
There's also the Blackfriars Cafe in Blackfriars Rd (Pocock St junction) - family owned & very friendly, but currently not many tables, tho they might be expanding next door next year.
Friday 19 December 2003 11.47am
but where can I go for a grilled black pudding and poached egg brekkie?

(a tricky combo to find, in my experience)

...there's plenty more c**** in the cup.
Monday 22 December 2003 5.02pm
"a decent plated meal at lunchtime for just a few quid, and where I won't have to fight for a seat." Definitely Terrys Cafe or perhaps even the Giggling Sausage (both on Great Suffolk Street.) I've had good breakfasts in Cobellis on Borough High St/Trinity Street corner. Sadly we've lost the Borough cafe for genuine greasy spoon-ness. For decent pub nosh I recommend the Royal Oak.
Monday 22 December 2003 5.05pm
...but Maria from the Borough Cafe is now serving fry-ups again in Stoney Street, and will be moving into the market itself next year
Tuesday 23 December 2003 12.36pm
Cheers peoples!

I'll definitely try Terry's and the Giggling Sausage, because they're the nearest (and because I like the name Giggling Sausage), but I'm gagging to give the Peruvian place a go too.

Thanks for the suggestions.
Tuesday 23 December 2003 2.18pm
Bummer. El Vergel seems to be closed. Not sure why, but seeing a few tools and tins of paint in there behind the closed doors I suppose they could be having a bit of a refurb...???
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